When, in a speech on 30 May 1984, the Prince of Wales described a proposed extension to the National Gallery as ‘a monstrous carbuncle’ he ignited a national debate about modern architecture. That debate is still raging. The Prince is now a little more guarded in his remarks but his place has been taken by the philosopher Roger Scruton, chair of a government advisory committee on architecture, who is, if anything, even more fiercely critical of ‘Modernism’. This lecture is designed to help us to form our own opinions on the matter. Basic architectural concepts such as Classicism, Functionalism and Urbanism will be explained and their historical origins traced. We will discover that modernity and tradition are not really simple opposites, that modernity has always depended on tradition and that tradition has often contained a progressive spirit.
Prof of Architectural Theory. Former editor Architects Journal and contrib to mags worldwide. Books: Thinking About Architecture, Key Houses of the Twentieth Century,The Prefab Home, High Tech Architecture, A New History of Modern Architecture (published by Laurence King) and monographs on work of Foster, Hopkins, Grimshaw.